Del Govt withdraws plea on Odd-Even after NGT refuses exemption

Del Govt withdraws plea on Odd-Even after NGT refuses exemption

Del Govt withdraws plea on Odd-Even after NGT refuses exemption

The NGT noted that the PM10 levels are found to be over 1,000 µg/m3 in most places in Delhi - 10 times higher than the prescribed value of 100 µg/m3, and PM2.5 is found to be in the range of 594 to 802 µg/m3 as against the prescribed value of 60 µg/m3 - 10 to 13 times higher than the acceptable limit. Three days from now, Safar forecasts the air quality in the capital to be "very poor".

Even as meetings continue though, Delhi continues to choke. The US-based passenger carrier United Airlines temporarily suspended its Newark-IGI airport flights due to concerns over poor air quality in New Delhi.

"On what basis, are you asking exemption for two-wheelers", asked NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.

While the blame game over pollution in Delhi continues, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today rapped the Arvind Kejriwal-led government for giving "arbitrary exemptions" to two-wheelers in the odd-even scheme.

The state government has also requested neighbouring states to implement the odd-even scheme.

The government said it is not ready "to compromise with the safety of women" after the NGT ordered that there should be no exemption to anyone apart from emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire tenders.

"The odd-even will go on".

Last year, exemptions were given to women, two-wheelers, vehicles carrying children in school uniforms and VVIPs.

The Tribunal disapproved all the exemptions that were given by the city government during the previous two phases of odd-even in January and April 2016.

"Like most women, I am against exemptions and wont avail any".

"At the moment we are calling it off".

"We respect the NGT decision, but its condition of removal of two-wheelers and women from the exemption list has made it hard to implement the odd-even rule as we do not have adequate buses", Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said.

The city government also came up with a defence for two-wheelers, stating that it would need at least 2,500 additional buses to accommodate women and two-wheeler riders, which it now did not have.

"This government was not able to procure sufficient number of buses so far because of non-availability of land for construction of depots".

The tribunal noted that as per reports of the pollution control committees, two-wheelers caused greater pollution, and according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), approximately 30 per cent pollution was caused by them.

The Supreme Court has also sought a response from the Centre and Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab state governments on a plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).

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